Nana (Hwanhee Kim b. 1980, Seoul) and Felix (Felix Nybergh b. 1985, Espoo) is a Korean-Finnish artist duo working together since 2013. Through their distinctive working method, in which the duo develop works under bigger, themed projects, each individual work has its own sub-theme that both supports and challenges the main project. All their projects are conditioned by, and reflect on, their situation of living between two countries, continents and cultures. All of their working can be summed up as different tries at understanding these circumstances.
Born and raised in the global era, the artist duo makes use of their radically different cultural upbringing and heritage in creating cultural collages that comment on the globalized world they live in. Mixing facsimile representations with subjective-interpretative language, these cultural collages depict and question the coherent sense of Nation their respective cultures continuously project. Through parody, irony and contradiction, they aim to show how not only our time is global, but that all separate, and on the surface hermetic, cultures are essentially continuations built upon millennia of cultural interaction, borrowing and appropriation.
In their first two projects So.Me. and The Zone System, the artist duo explored how photographic images are deployed in order to manipulate the public. Both projects focus on authoritative images, such as those used by law enforcement and the advertisement industry. By mimicking, recreating and repositioning, the projects expose the absurd nature of the image. Their following projects Progress and WEAST had been carried out between the years 2015 and 2018, when the duo lived in South Korea. Conditioned by the peculiar history of this country both projects deal with a bizarre version of cultural appropriation. These projects have examined how a national project has been developed based on a foreign, misinterpreted and misunderstood imagery. Nana & Felix's response to such imagery resulted in producing a series of works disguised as a traditional art. Currently the duo is working on a project called <7 Hours of Future> that consists of different series of reinterpreted landscapes that portray actual, possible and alternating realities of South Korea and Finland.
As visual artists, Nana & Felix aspire to expand their understanding of the ways their lives as both artists and citizens unfold within the society we live in. All of their projects, both past and future, always try to challenge their own prejudices, processing them with honesty, irony and humility.
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